Local News

Sheriff warns of scammers claiming to represent sheriff’s office

Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart is alerting the public to a recent phone scam in which the caller claimed to be an employee of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and called from a number disguised to appear as though it was from the sheriff’s office.

During these calls, the scammer either stated the call was related to a “legal matter,” that the individual “missed jury duty,” or that the individual would go to jail if they did not turn themselves in to police custody.

The scammer utilized a “spoofing app,” which is a mobile app used to create fake calls and text messages. The caller also knew and used the potential victims’ names, likely to sound more legitimate in order to obtain sensitive personal information or money.

Dart urged people to be cautious if they receive this call or one similar to it.

The sheriff’s office does not make such notifications by phone nor does the office call to solicit money.

Dart offered the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of a phone scam:
• If you believe a call is suspicious, immediately hang up.
• Never give personal information such as Social Security numbers or bank account numbers over the phone.
• If a caller claims to be from a specific public agency, hang up and call that agency directly to determine whether there is a legitimate reason to contact you. Do not use any phone number given to you by the caller.

Dart encouraged citizens who receive these calls to report the incident to the sheriff’s police non-emergency number at 847-635-1188.

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